It is a humbling opportunity and amazing challenge to attempt to both represent and unite the state of Mississippi under one banner.
This state is a mix of cultures, heritage, trials, and tribulations. Mississippi is diverse —in its peoples, resources, and landscape.
The Great River Flag endeavors to capture as much of that into one unique image that supports Mississippi’s other meaningful symbols — the mockingbird, magnolia, and others — while also standing on its own.
So, how did we get here? Glad you asked. Let's scroll.
- Micah Whitson, Univ. of Miss. '03
~ ♢ ~
It started with the thought: "What could've been here from the start? What could a designer have created at the time of Mississippi’s initial admission into the Union in 1817 that would still be flying today?"
Cast in Philadelphia and delivered by horseback to the Mississippi Territory.
The fine lines in the verticals were inspiring.
The star, or in Choctaw, Fichik. Comprised of Hamaya - the diamond - a nod to the eastern diamondback rattlesnake. The snakes were respected animals to agriculturalists. They protected the crops from rodents. The five diamonds also symbolize the five regions of Mississippi.
Occochappo - The Ancient Waters. Mecassheba - The Great River.
It forms the state’s western border the and serves as the historic, economic, and cultural lifeblood of the entire region. The southern border is the Gulf of Mexico, into which the Mighty Mississippi flows.
A nice coincidence. The original shield had vertical lines in threes: three nations flew flags over the land at one time: the Spanish, the French, and the British. Also a nod to the height and splendor of the piney woods.
This typeface was produced by William Caslon Junior, heir to the great Caslon type legacy, and his type foundry in 1816. Simply called Two Lines English Egyptian, it was the first san serif typeface commercially available. It would have been available to the original Mississippi flag designer. To feature this typeface would have been groundbreaking at the time. It is modern, yet timeless.
With that glance back, we set a firm footing, look forward,
and march confidently towards Mississippi's future.
It's said that there are five
main regions of Mississippi;
The Hills represented at the top of the shield, the two arches with a crest in the center
The Delta and the River both represented by the river (specifically the top waves and the river line)
The Pine Belt represented by the tall lines encompassing the width of the shield.
The Capital represented by the star at the top
The Gulf Coast represented by the bottom waves at the top of the body of the shield
This is only the beginning. We have a new flag. We have new visual language in which to speak. And we've always been storytellers. Let's pull together and tell this story of a new day in the Hospitality State.